Happy Thanksgiving all. I’m surrounded by Donna’s big lively festive brood of a family in the gorgeous Hudson Valley, and paying attention to all I have to be grateful for. I have so little to be ungrateful for–bunions, hemorrhoids, our inept Federal government–that alone is a blessing. But this is our shared national holiday, one centered on food as a symbol of bounty and good fortune, whatever we may have or not have. It is a time above all to remember the Gascon motto: Alone we die, together we thrive. It is also a time to remember that food is not simply our body’s fuel, an occasional luxury, or a daily errand, but rather the anchor of our lives without which we perish. It is what binds or families and our communities. It demands Read On »

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This is a repost from November 21, 2012 featuring Michael’s Cranberry Sauce and Gravy from scratch. My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, and set a timer for 90 minutes. Read On »

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America is pie crazy and they are the after turkey centerpiece of thanksgiving dinner, via WSJ.

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Decisions to make when purchasing your holiday turkeys by choosing local, organic, and antibiotic free, via Civil Eats.

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I stopped stuffing our Thanksgiving turkey reluctantly, as the stuffing was always my favorite part of the meal when Grandma Spamer made it. But my goal became a perfectly cooked bird, and you can’t cook a turkey perfectly if it’s stuffed. So now I make what we must refer to as dressing, no matter what Mario says (“That’s what you put on a salad.”). Dressing denotes that it’s stuffing cooked in a pan. And it can still be the very best part of the meal! Thanks to a versatile ratio, it’s a no brainer. Dressing, and there are infinite variations, is little more than a savory bread pudding. To make a great dressing you make the liquid a custard, the ratio for which is 2 parts liquid and 1 part egg, here 24 ounces stock Read On »

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